Handmade Fudge: A Sweet Last Minute Gift

Looking for a last minute holiday gift? There’s still time to treat your favorite people with a sweet gift from Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Handmade fudge is perfect for every person on your gift giving list, from your closest friends and family to your neighbor down the street, new co-worker or holiday pet and plant sitter—pretty much anyone on your list who deserves a little something extra. You might be surprised to learn that Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, better known for its thrill rides and cave tours, is also home to a mountain-full of fudge!

The melt-in-your-mouth confection is a top-selling item at the Adventure Park’s General Store where it’s a main attraction year-round but especially so at the holidays. Each batch is made using only the highest quality ingredients. Technically, it only takes a few of them to make fudge: chocolate, butter, sugar, cream and vanilla, but making fudge is a notoriously persnickety process. Over cook it and it will become grainy, add too much of one ingredient or other and the consistency will be off.

Getting it right takes experience. Having made literally tons of the sweet stuff since 2015, Glenwood Caverns has perfected its fudge making process, expertly churning out one consistent batch after another. Our homemade fudge comes in an assortment of traditional and unusual flavors. Please note that while there is always a delicious array of fudge varieties from which to choose, not all of them may be available at any given time. The list below is a sampling of what you might find in store:

  • Raspberry Chocolate Swirl
  • Chocolate Walnut
  • Cappuccino
  • Peanut Butter Explosion
  • Caramel Chocolate Peanut
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Maple Walnut
  • Butter Pecan
  • Coconut Delight
  • Heath English Toffee
  • Chewy Praline
  • Seasonal Selections

During the last minute rush to complete your holiday shopping, there’s no need to panic or fret. Put a smile on their faces with the old-fashioned gift of hand crafted fudge—if you like, even take credit for making it, we won’t tell. For a beautiful gift presentation, no wrapping required, the store staff will package your purchase in a gift box.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park holiday hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Jan. 4; Sundays until 5 p.m.; closing early on Christmas Eve, Tuesday Dec. 24, at 5 p.m.; and closed on Christmas Day, Wednesday Dec. 25.

Kids Happy Hour Only at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Who says Happy Hour is for adults only? At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, it’s not just grown-ups who can kick back and relax with a cool beverage.

As a family-friendly theme park destination, we really understand where kids are coming from. It’s not fair that Happy Hour is the exclusive domain of the 21 and over age group. At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, we’ve rectified that disparity by creating our very own Kids Happy Hour.

At the Lookout Grille, every Monday – Thursday (through Labor Day), from 5 p.m. to closing time, kids 3 – 12 can get a beat-the-heat ICEE drink in a variety of fruity flavors for half price. ICEEs are an iconic part of summer. The frozen, carbonated drink was created by Omar Knedlik in Kansas in 1958 and it’s been a hot weather treat ever since.  Moms and dads don’t have to worry about being left out either because we’ve also got Happy Hour for the big kids with $4 drafts of Fat Tire, Blue Moon, Coor’s Light and our favorite—Adventure Park Ale, a locally-brewed IPA.

If you’re looking for some delicious eats to go with your suds and sodas, the Lookout Grille has plenty of belly-pleasing choices. Favorite appetizers include Mountain Nachos, a sky-high plateful of cheesy chips with all the fixings; and Loaded Fries, French fries topped with cheese sauce, onions and bacon. Yum!

The Lookout Grille’s main menu also has a little something for everyone. There are beef or veggie burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches, all with the option of a regular or gluten-free bun. Health-conscious options include chicken wraps and garden salads with or without chicken. A favorite that goes particularly well with sporting events is our plate of boneless chicken wings and fries. For kids choose a burger or chicken nugget meal that comes with a fountain drink and kid’s choice of kettle chips, applesauce or French fries.

Other places to grab some good eats are the Snack Shack where slices of pizza, brats and hot dogs are just the thing to satisfy growling tummies. When it’s time for a cold treat, indulge in an ice cream or a sno-cone. Our Popcorn Wagon is chock-full of theme park goodies like funnel cakes, cotton candy, corndogs, chips and cinnamon glazed nuts, as well as stocked with all your favorite drinks. For a truly mouthwatering treat, stop by the General Store to peruse the display case of fudge—all made by hand daily—and pick whatever is most tempting.

Stop in for Happy Hour—kids welcome—and stay for the fun of it! Find out more about Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and how to plan your day and your vacation to Glenwood Springs.

Oh Fudge! A Colorado Visitor Favorite

Making tons (yes, literal tons) of fudge a year, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park could easily give Willy Wonka and his mythical Chocolate Factory some sweet competition.

Glenwood Caverns is better known for its adventure rides and cave tours, but the Colorado theme park also happens to churn out mountains of fudge annually. The melt-in-your-mouth confection is the top-selling item at the General Store gift shop where ensconced in a glass display case, it takes center stage.

Each batch is made using only the highest quality ingredients. Technically, it only takes a few of them to make fudge: chocolate, butter, sugar, cream and vanilla, but making fudge is a notoriously persnickety process. Over cook it and it will become grainy, add too much of one ingredient or other and the consistency will be off.

Getting it right though, takes experience and lots of it. Laura VanLue has been making fudge at the Caverns since 2015, when the General Store first began selling it. Since then, VanLue and her crew have made over 6.5 tons of fudgy goodness. That’s more than the vehicle weight limit on some roadways!

During peak season from May through August, VanLue spends up to seven hours a day at least twice per week making 18 pans of flavored fudge. Each pan weighs 6 pounds – that’s 108 pounds of fudge in a day which only keeps the General Store stocked up for one week. Besides being a delicious treat, when asked why she thought the homemade fudge was so popular, VanLue speculated, “It smells good when you walk into the General Store – like sugar. We also give away free samples. After that first taste, most people are goners.”

Keeping fudge lovers happy is just part of the job. Because visitors can’t seem to get enough of it, VanLue and her management team are making it available at other Caverns locations starting this summer. In addition to the General Store, visitors can get their fudge fix at the Lookout Grille and the Trading Post.

Fun Fudge Facts:

  • Fudge is an American invention.
  • June 16th is National Fudge Day.
  • Most people believe the first batch was accidental, resulting from a botched batch of caramels; the mishap led to the expression “Oh Fudge,” signifying a mistake.
  • In the 19th Century when fudge was accidentally invented, the word “fudge” was often used to mean “nonsense.”
  • “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men,” Willy Wonka from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
  • The first commercially sold fudge was in 1886, at a grocery store in Baltimore, Maryland where it retailed for 40¢ per pound.
  • Hot fudge is technically not fudge, but a kind of chocolate syrup.
  • Fudge does not have to be chocolate-based, though chocolate flavors are the most popular.

So what are the Caverns’ top-selling fudge flavors? Jockeying for first and second place are Peanut Butter Chocolate and Mint Chocolate Swirl, next up are Cookies N’ Cream and Rocky Road. Well, as Mr. Wonka might say that’s “scrumpdidlyumptious!”